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Most lease agreements are fairly standard; however, if you are ever in doubt about your lease agreement and want an expert opinion you do have the option of consulting a lawyer to look over the lease agreement. Real estate lawyers are legal professionals that handle all aspects of real estate including conflict of interest cases, documentation and administration and lawsuits against property managers, owners, HOA board members or renters. If you are not confident in your lease agreement, consider using the professional services of a real estate lawyer.

In almost all cases, you will need to pay for the services of a lawyer to look over your lease agreement. Unless the lawyer is a friend and doing you a favor, then you can expect to pay for the services. Looking over a lease agreement will not take much time and you will most likely only be charged for the time you spend with the lawyer as he is not representing you or writing a document for you. However, you can expect to have to pay a pretty hefty fee for even a simple 15 minute consultation. Expect anywhere from $50 to $500 for a lawyer's services. '

When to Consult a Lawyer

Most renters are happy to sign a lease once they have discussed it with their landlord. Whenever you are given a lease to sign you need to look over every single clause with a fine print. Leases are often written in confusing legal jargon and although it may be tempting to just sign in and make it official, you don't want to let your excitement get ahead of you while you're thinking of energy efficient window replacements and other home improvements.

Not all landlords are trusting, genuine people and you need to pay particular attention to any clauses related to repairs and utility bills. The landlord should be responsible for all repairs in the event of a disaster. If your lease says otherwise, then bring it up with your landlord. If he refuses to budge, consult a lawyer about it. You may find that your potential landlord is breaking the law.

Another important thing to look at is the utility agreement. It is pretty standard for landlords to request their tenants pay for the utility costs (water and electricity) in a house or standalone unit. However, if you are in a complex where there is no way to monitor individual energy consumption, then your landlord cannot charge you a certain amount based on an estimate. This is also against the law.

You may also want to consult a lawyer about a lease agreement if the lease is for a substantial period of time. Anything over one year is considered a long term lease agreement. You want to be sure that everything is in order before you commit to this long period of time and this large amount of upcoming rent. If you are renting an older building it is also a good idea to talk to a lawyer as older buildings often operate under different insurance terms in regards to actual replacement value.

Asking a lawyer to review a lease is a perfectly acceptable thing to do before moving into any rental property. The bottom line is this-if you feel weary or worried about your lease agreement and are overwhelmed by the details in it, then take the time to research a lawyer that specializes in real estate in your area. You may need to pay for his services but you will gain the confidence you need to put pen to paper and finalize the deal.

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